Ibn Taymiyah and other Sunni scholars on Kashf and Ilham
Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah and ibn Utheymeen on Kashf
Shaykh Ibn Utheymeen said about “Kashf” in his Sharh Wasitiyah of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah:
“Concerning his statement: “In types of knowledge (Ul-Ulum) and unveiling (Al-Mukashafat), and types of ability (Al-Qudrah) and effects (At-Ta’thirat):” meaning that Karamah is divided into two categories: A category that has to do with knowledge and unveiling, and another category that has to do with ability and effects.
As for Al-Ulum, one may possess some kinds of knowledge which other do not have.
As for Al-Mukashafat, that is what becomes apparent to him from things which are unveiled for him, in a way that does not occur for others.
An example of the first Al-Ulum (knowledges) is what is mentioned about Abu Bakr, that Allah let him look at what was in the womb of his wife, the pregnancy, Allah made him know that it was a girl (Reported by Al-Lalikai in “Karamat Al-Awliya” 63 and Ibn Hajar mentioned it Al-Isabah (4:261)
An example of the second category, Al-Mukashafat (unveiling) is that what happened to the Commander of the Believers, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was giving a sermon to the people on the Minbar one Friday. They heard him saying: “O Sariyah! The mountain!” They were surprised at this statement. Then, they asked him about that. He replied that it had been shown to him that Sariyah bin Zanim, one of his leaders in Al-Iraq, was being surrounded by his enemies (in the war front). So he (Umar) was directing him to go towards the mountain, and he said to him: “O Sariyah! The mountain” Sariyah heard the voice of Umar, so he went up to the mountain and sought fortification therein. (Reported by Al-Bayhaqi in “Dalail An-Nubuwwah” and ibn Kathir in “Al-Bidayah” (7:131) and said: “Its chain is Hasan Jayid”. And Al-Albani graded it Hasan (good) in As-Silsilah As-Sahihah 1110)
This is among the matters of unveiling because it was a real occurrence, but it was far away.” (Eng Tran Darussalam)
Shaykh Fawzan on Kashf
Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan said about “Kashf” in his Sharh Wasitiyah of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah:
“In his saying: “Fi Anwa Al-Ulum wal Mukashafat wa Anwa’ Al-Qudrah wat Ta’thirat” there is an indication to the fact that the Karamah, some of them can be from the category of knowledge and Kashf by the servant hearing what others do not hear or SEEING what other do not see, AWAKE or in sleep, or he knows what other do not know, and some of them can be from the category of Qudrah and Ta’thir.
An example of the first category: the saying of Umar: “O Sariyah the Mountain” while he was in Madeenah and Sariyah in the east.
(Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in “Ad-Dalail” (6/370) and Abu Na’eem in “Ad-Dalail” (525), and it has many ways as in “Tarikh ibn Kathir” (7/131) and “Al-Isabah” (4/98) of ibn Hajar, “Takhrij Al-Arabeen” n 5 of As-Sakhawi and “Al-Maqasid” (736) of As-Sakhawi as well and “As-Silsilah As-Sahihah” 1110)
And Abu Bakr informing that there is a daughter in the womb of his wife”
(Narrated by Malik in Muwatta 40, and Al-Lalikai in “Karamat Al-Awliya” (63), see “Al-Isabah” (4/261)
Shaykh AbdurRazaq Affifi on narration of Saariyah:
Shaikh AbdurRazaq Afifi establishes narration of Saariya and counts it among Karamaat of saints, p 380 of his Rasail wa Fatawa:
“And this is ibn Khattab while he was doing Khutbah, Allah sent him ilham or made him see Saariyah and the army from his back and said: O Saariyah ilzam al Jabal, meaning put your back to the mountain so the enemy does not come from behind….”
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahab on Kashf and Karamat:
“I accept the Karamat of Awliya and what Mukashafah occurs for them, except that they do not deserve anything from the rights of Allah and what only Allah can do should not be sought from them”
Direct link to book: http://saaid.net/book/open.php?cat=7&book=980
Shaykh Ubaydullah Mubarakpuri affirms narration of Saariyah
In a letter to Shaykh Ghazi Ozair Mubarakpuri dated of 13/5/79, Shaykh Ubaydullah Mubarakupri replied to some questions on Ahadith and among these questions was the authenticity of the narration of Umar ibnul Khattab of Sariyah about the Kashf of Umar, he replied:
“The incident of Hazrat Umar (rad) saying “O Sariyah go to the mountain” is mentioned in “Tahzeeb Al-Asma wa Lughat” of An-Nawawi v 2 p 10, “Asad Al-Lughah” v 4 p 65 and “Tarikh Khulafa” p 49 by quoting Al-Bayhaqi, Abu Nuayim in “Dalail Nubuwah”, Al-Lalikai in “Sarh As-Sunnah”…Ibnul Arabi in “Karamat Al-Awliya” and Al-Khateeb among narrators of Malik and ibn Mardawaiyah with the mentioned chain of narration. Hafiz after mentioning the incident in a concise way in “Al-Isabah” said “Its chain is Hasan” so telling that this incident is not authentic is not correct”
“Makateeb Rehmani” to Shaykh Ameen Athari p 112.
Shaykh Sulayman Mansurpuri on Kashf and Ilham
Qadhi Sulaiman Mansurpuri wrote about Ilham and Mukashafah in “Tayid Al-Islam” p 148:
“Bayhaqi Al-Waqt Qadhi Thanaullah (rah) wrote in “Irshad At-Talibin”: “The Ilham of Awliya brings Zanni knowledge (speculative knowledge) and if two hearts agree completely on one Ilham, it will reach the level of Zann Ghalib (preponderant speculation), but if the Kashf and Ilham of a Wali opposes a Hadith which is Ahad rather analogy (Qiyas) which fulfills the conditions of analogy, then on this case, we should give precedence to the Hadith and rather also to the Qiyas”
Afterwards Qadhi Sahib said that this matter was agreed by the Salaf and Khalaf.
Abu Sulayman Darani (rah) said: “Do not act on Ilham as long as it is not attested by narrations” (Ihya Uloom)
The Peer of Peers Shaykh AbdulQadir Jeelani (rah) wrote in “Futuh Al-Ghayb”: “It is permissible to act on Ilham and Kashf on the condition that it does not oppose Quran and Hadith, also consensus and authentic Qiyas”
Shaykh Haneef Nadwi on Ibn Taymiyah’s belief in Kashf:
Shaykh Muhammad Haneef Nadwi wrote on Kashf in “Aqliyat ibn Taymiyah” p 324:
“Allamah ibn Taymiyah was not a denier of Kashf and was not unaware of the importance of benefiting and Tahdith from the Lordship, but what was objectionable for him was that some Sufis have made Kashf as a definitive (Qat’i) way of Idraak while it is not Qat’i, and some blind following the philosophers declared Gnosticism as equal to the knowledge of Prophethood. His (Ibn Taymiyah) saying is that Kashf is among the categories of a spiritual Ijtihad, and as Ijtihad is not Qat’i from its consequences, likewise Kashf is equally prone to mistakes and errors, and the Qat’iyat and certainty (Yaqeen) is only in Prophetic sciences.
(Ibn Taymiyah said:) “The Muhadath, if he receives Ilham and Ihdath from Allah from one side from Allah, he should present it to the Book and the Sunnah as he is not infallible. As said by Abul Hasan Shazili: Infallibility is in what comes from the Book and Sunnah and infallibility is not in Kushuf and Ilham” (“Qa’idah fil Mujizat” p 9)”
Shaykh Muhamaad Haneef Nadwi further wrote p 327:
“Allamah (Ibn Taymiyah)’s concept of Islamic Wilayah is free from any misunderstanding or confusion. For him this form of level and status is in imitation of Prophethood, and it means only that one reaches a level of sincerity in obedience and imitation, and he performs orders and avoids forbidden matters with attention and the aspects of his behaviour and lifestyle are enlightened and high. And it is clear that such matters have no link to Tasarruf (control) in matters of the existence or Kashf of realities. If this clear and simple experience about Wilayah is correct then it means that if someone is a true Muslim according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) and no form of Tasarruf or Kashf manifest from him, then there is no problem, this does not create at all a defect in his status.
(Ibn Taymiyah said): “Know that the absence of Khawariq in knowledge and power (Qudrah) do not harm the Muslim in his religion, and the one who is not disclosed anything from unseen matters (man lam Yankashif lahu Shayun minal Mughibat) and nothing from Kawniyat are made Taskheer under him, this does not diminish his level in front of Allah” (“Al-Hujaj An-Naqliyah” p 124)
On the contrary if someone is gifted with the branches of tricks of Taskheer and gratified with the disclosure of condition (Kashf Ahwaal) but he is deprived of the beatifications of the religious law, then what is the doubt about his destruction?
(Ibn Taymiyah said): “As for Kashf and Ta’theer, if it is not associated to religion, his author is destroyed in the world and in the hereafter” (“Qa’idah fil Mu’jizat” p 9)
Hafiz Abdullah Ropri on Ilahm:
Hafiz Abdullah Ropuri was asked: what is difference between ilham and istikharah, and are these two zanni or Yaqeeni evidences, and how is it to put a ruling on someone, whether he is good or evil, based on them. He replied (Fatawa v 1 p 156):
“What is known from Istikharah, if it is in state of wakefulness, then it is Ilham, and Ilham of other than Prophets are zanni evidences, and Shaytan can play a role in it, and if it is against the Shariah, it will not be reliable. And the ruling of someone being evil will be according to the level of Ilham, if it comes from Kamil buzurg, it will be more reliable, else just normal”
Ilham according to Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Dehlawi
Allah said: “And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He” [al-An’aam 6:59]
Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Dehlwi wrote in his “Ahsan At-Tafaseer in explanation of this verse: “Explanators of books of Hadith and scholars of exegesis have written that matters of the knowledge of the Unseen are made apparent by Allah (Ta’ala) to Prophets through Wahi (revelation) and to saints through Ilham or dreams, hence the Prophets mentioned clearly the punishment of the grave, the condition on day of gathering (Al-Hashr), the condition of paradise and hell which is among the knowledge of the unseen, Prophet Isa told people of things in their houses without looking at them, and Prophet Yusuf told about one prisoner that he would be freed and the other would be crucified. And saints are also told some matters of the future by Karamat, and the difference is that what is known to Prophets, it is known by revelation which is certain (Yaqeeni), and what is known from unseen to saints is through Ilham or dream which can contain a mistake like the Ihtihad of the Mujtahid”
Allah said: of Surah Jinn, verses 26-28: “[He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone, Except whom He has approved of messengers, and indeed, He sends before each messenger and behind him observers, That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number”
Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Dehlwi wrote in his “Ahsan At-Tafaseer” about this verse:
“Zamakhshari and the Mu’tazilah deduced from the verse “Except whom He has approved of Messengers” that Allah has particularized the Messengers with being given news from the Unseen, so the Karamat of the saints should not continue in the world because saints are not Messengers, but authentic Ahadith prove the Karamat of saints so this is how scholars from Ahl e Sunnah convinced the people from the Mu’tazilah sect”
Note: Shaykh Ata’ullah Haneef Bhujiyani who published this Tafsir did not write any objection to it.
Some matters of unseen shown like event of Saariyah do not mean saint has power to know whatever he wants and whenever he desires, rather Karamat are done by Allah when he wills. And such are not attributes of humans like speaking and seeing which they use according to free will, hence Umar ibn Khattab (rad) could not see his killer and was thus fatally injured by him.